North Carolina’s first Arabic Honors Society chapter has been established in Cumberland county. The chapter was started by Rana Nasser, who teaches Arabic 1, 2, and 4 honors at Cumberland International Early College High School where she also serves as the World Languages Department Chair. “I wanted to create a sense of belonging for my students,” Nasser explained.
Dedicated to helping high-achieving students of Arabic excel at the high school level, the national Arabic Honor Society, launched and supported by QFI, provides financial support, academic direction, and career guidance for its members. “Students will also have tassels to wear at their graduation ceremony to show off their achievements,” Nasser added. Qualifications to be a member are rigorous, including earning a 90% or higher in Arabic courses and completing 1.5 years of Arabic.
Honor societies have long existed for other major world languages taught at the secondary level. For example, Cumberland International Early College High School already has a Spanish Honor Society. With the need for cross-cultural understanding of the Arabic-speaking world as well as increased enrollment in Arabic language classes across the country, an Arabic Honor Society is a needed addition.
AHS chapters across the nation offer opportunities for students and teachers to engage their communities and bolster their local Arabic language programs. “I started this chapter because I wanted to promote the Arabic language in my school,” Nasser shared. “My goal is to increase visibility about Arabic language learning and provide motivation for students to stay engaged.” Nasser even arranged t-shirts for the group with a unique logo.
Cumberland’s AHS has plans to grow in the coming years by inducting more students and becoming more engaged with the local community, promoting Arabic language along the way. The AHS has already volunteered for the Light the Night campaign, a fundraising event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Future plans include participating in the annual Cumberland International Early College High School cultural night as well as other school-wide Arabic language and culture activities.